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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interviews With Matthew Geragos, Brian Kabateck, Ray Chandler
Aired November 25, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS, MICHAEL JACKSON'S ATTORNEY: This is not the lottery. This is this man's life. This is his family's life. These are scurrilous accusations. We are going to, and I've been given full authority, we will land on you like a ton of bricks. We will land on you like a hammer if you do anything to besmirch this man's reputation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Mark Geragos explodes at reports he and Michael Jackson were secretly videotaped as they flew to surrender Michael on child molestation charges, and that airline officials reportedly met with the media about possibly selling the videos. All this as investigators say they have so much evidence to go through from Michael's Neverland ranch that he won't be formally charged until the middle of December.
Tonight, exclusive, Matthew Geragos, Mark's brother and civil co- counsel for Michael Jackson. And Brian Kabateck, also civil co- counsel for Jackson. With more on what all of this means for the Jackson defense.
And then a rare interview with Ray Chandler, the uncle of the 13- year-old who was the first to accuse Michael Jackson of child molestation 10 years ago. And then our panel, it's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Matthew Geragos and Brian Kabateck begin things for us. Matthew Geragos is the partner of his brother, Mark Geragos. You handle civil areas and he does criminal?
MATTHEW GERAGOS, MICHAEL JACKSON'S CIVIL CO-COUNSEL: Civil litigation.
KING: And Brian, you are -- you have your own practice?
BRIAN KABATECK, MICHAEL JACKSON'S CIVIL CO-COUNSEL: I have my own firm in Los Angeles that specializes in representing plaintiffs in lawsuits and litigation.
KING: So we have two -- you together...
GERAGOS: And he's our neighbor in our building.
KING: So you're working on this together.
KABATECK: And close friend.
KING: Now, you filed charges today against the airline.
GERAGOS: We filed a...
KING: This is a private airline, right?.
GERAGOS: Private charter company. We filed for a temporary restraining order, which will lead to a full restraining order. Judge granted it today.
KING: Restraining them from?
GERAGOS: Restraining them from either broadcasting, reproducing or in any way distributing the tape that was taken of my brother and Michael Jackson.
KING: Did they definitely tape them, Brian?
KABATECK: There's no question. And they came into court with a lawyer this morning who admitted it. They admitted it yesterday to Mark on the telephone. They admitted that they have the tapes. Their story varies. At times, they taped them. At other times, they suddenly found the tapes on an airplane that they own. Absolutely ridiculous.
KING: How would anyone be able to hear anything if the subjects weren't miked?
GERAGOS: Well, that's the question. We have an understanding through what we have gathered that, in fact, there was audio to it. The lawyer today in court sort of hedged himself about the audio, which we thought was very interesting.
KING: Would that be like a hidden mike on the plane?
KABATECK: They could have had a hidden mike on the plane. We certainly know they had two, not one but two hidden cameras on the plane filming both Mark and Michael.
KING: Is that illegal?
KING: In California and Nevada, depending on where?
KABATECK: California, federal wiretap laws. Civil laws in California that make that conduct actionable. This is very, very serious matter.
GERAGOS: The penal code here, there's a civil right, and that's what we went in under today. That gives us a right when they commit a crime such as what they did to go in to seek this type of relief.
KING: Do you think they should be charged with a crime, too?
KABATECK: That's not my job. We're civil lawyers. I think they did something that was improper. I think they did something that's very serious.
KING: Do you think the airline company, the airline company did it?
KABATECK: I think it goes right to the top of the company.
KING: OK. New developments since the court order was issued?
GERAGOS: Right, and it dovetails right into what you just asked. We learned just really within the last few hours from very reliable sources that, in fact, the tape itself, the equipment -- we do not know about the jet -- was impounded. There was a FBI search with a warrant. So it appears that there must be a criminal investigation ongoing, which ironically, now with our restraining order, you know, the FBI now has the items. In fact...
KING: What you're telling us is the FBI has this tape?
GERAGOS: That's what we understand right now.
KING: They've impounded it.
GERAGOS: They've impounded that.
KING: That would be a criminal investigation, they're not going to impound civilly.
GERAGOS: Correct. Correct. And maybe what my brother said late this afternoon that he'll come down on anybody like a ton of bricks maybe came true. I mean, they now are facing what we tried to inform the attorney for them, and in court today, that this is a criminal matter.
KING: Have either of you seen the tape?
KING: OK. So again, breaking news here. The FBI, according to Matthew Geragos and Brian Kabateck, on informed sources to them, has impounded that tape. The FBI has possession?
GERAGOS: That's what we understand.
KING: We're going to -- here's Mark Geragos, by the way, Michael Jackson's attorney, speaking to the press today ensuring everyone listening that his client will get his strongest defense. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS: I also want to make one other statement and make it unequivocally clear. Michael Jackson is not going to be abused. Michael Jackson is not going to be slammed. Is not going to be a pinata for every person who has financial motives, for every person who thinks that they can get -- as the lawyer for the charter company said today, we had a lottery ticket and we thought we were going to do something with it.
This is not the lottery. This is this man's life. This is his family's life. These are scurrilous accusations. We are going to, and I've been given authority, we will land on you like a ton of bricks. We will land on you like a hammer, if you do anything to besmirch this man's reputation, anything to intrude on his privacy in any way that's actionable. We will unleash a legal torrent like you have never seen.
We -- I believe will put XtraJet out of business for this outrageous act. Anybody who's connected with it, we will put and seek to do everything else to put them out of business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: By the way, we have been in contact with XtraJet, and a spokesman for the company XtraJet says they're not commenting at this time. Are they a big company?
GERAGOS: From what we understand -- and ironically, a couple of years back, I actually had the opportunity to sue XtraJet on behalf of an aviation fuel company. They stiffed somebody on some fuel. And...
KING: Did you win?
GERAGOS: Yes. And they paid, and what's interesting, we are looking into -- get some of the old records out. There is some stuff possibly that could be helpful.
KING: You don't want this plane touched, right, either, Brian, is that correct?
KABATECK: We don't want the plane touched. We want to have a chance to inspect the plane. We want to find out where this equipment came from, where it was mounted in the plane. How they got it on the plane. Their only defense at this point is, we didn't put the cameras in the plane. We just suddenly found the videotape. But I guess they found the videotape and then decided to sell it.
KING: How did you find out about it, Matthew?
GERAGOS: Mark got calls starting at late afternoon yesterday from other media outlets, indicating that they had seen portions of this tape, telling him specifically things that they saw about him and about Michael Jackson on the plane.
KING: Must have went berserk?
GERAGOS: Oh, I have never seen my brother -- I mean, he's faced a lot of things, but when he heard that he was recorded, I have never seen him in the mood he was.
KING: How has Michael reacted? GERAGOS: As you heard my brother state in the press conference, he, you know, he wants my brother to pursue this to the bitter end and anybody else. Anybody else.
KING: Was he as angry as Mark?
GERAGOS: Yes. From my understanding from Mark, yes.
KING: You didn't talk to Michael?
GERAGOS: I did not talk to him.
KING: But Mark says Michael was as angry?
KING: Who's suing the company? Michael?
KABATECK: Michael Jackson, Mark Geragos, the law firm of Geragos and Geragos.
KING: Asking for what kind of relief? What do you want?
KABATECK: Well, we're certainly asking for an injunction, that they never -- this tape never sees the light of day. We're also asking for actual damages. We're asking for punitive damages. We're asking for trouble damages. Everything allowable under the law for this kind of conduct, just to make sure that this message gets out.
KING: And that's on behalf of both Jackson and Geragos? Both have been...
GERAGOS: And Pat Harris (ph), who you might also know, too. Pat was on the plane, too.
KING: Have you ever heard anything like this before?
KABATECK: I have not only have I never heard of anything like this before, but I am talking to my colleagues today, listening to the media, I don't think anyone has ever heard of this. And I think a lot of people are outraged at this kind of conduct.
GERAGOS: As you say, the only thing you'll ever hear about this is where law enforcement tries to get a third party to do their bidding where they can't get a warrant. And of course, if that was ever the case here, then that's a major problem.
KING: How about someone saying today if the government didn't do the tape, they can use the tape in a trial against Jackson?
GERAGOS: Well, now, this is -- we're in state court here. The penal code section 632...
KING: I mean whatever government.
GERAGOS: Whatever government, but right now, in terms of let's say the prosecution in Santa Barbara. I mean, there's a state law that prevents the tape recording of this. It makes it...
KING: So they can't use it.
GERAGOS: They cannot use it.
KABATECK: And it goes to the very sanctity of the attorney- client privilege. I mean, that is one of the cornerstones of our legal system, is the privilege that a client has to speak to his lawyer about legal matters. And Mr. Jackson got on a private plane, not an airplane with 300 other passengers, but a private plane to have a private conversation with his lawyer.
KING: What was a private plane doing with microphones in it?
GERAGOS: Well, that's the whole point, is that, you know, we had, at least from the lawyers saying that maybe it was maintenance people putting these cameras on, unbeknownst to them and it just dropped in their hand -- Brian has been saying all day too, the comment they made is it was like a lottery ticket that dropped in their hand. And I mean...
KING: So they saw this as a way to make money?
KING: Did they offer it to networks?
KABATECK: We understood that they offered it to several networks...
KING: And no one accepted?
KABATECK: No one's accepted.
KING: They asked for money?
KABATECK: A lot of money.
KING: Do you fear the tape is going to leak out? Well, if the FBI has impounded it already, but it could have been copied before.
GERAGOS: Exactly, that's one of the points we made today. But the judge only has certain powers, which is to tell the person, you're not to disseminate it again. I'll say, if any other outlet or media outlet does play it or allow the sound to be played, they also would have a problem.
KING: So you're saying, let's say some outlet, cable outlet, network outlet has the tapes through some means and they air it, you'll sue them?
KABATECK: We're coming after them next. And they're going on -- they are going to be part of this and we are going to go right on down the line. We are going to find out who was part of this. We named 100 Doe's in the lawsuit, a hundred unnamed defendants so if we find out...
KING: Meaning, everybody connected with the company, everybody connected with media, anybody connected with...
GERAGOS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) touching this item and making sure that, you know, doesn't get out there. That they -- if they have an involvement...
KABATECK: We have no interest to go after people simply were the recipients of the information and refused.
KING: In a bizarre case, it gets more bizarre.
GERAGOS: Clearly, very bizarre.
KING: And again, to your knowledge, the FBI impounded the tape which would signify a criminal investigation?
GERAGOS: That's what we understand.
KABATECK: That's what it sounds like to us.
KING: Thank you both very much.
GERAGOS: Thank you.
KABATECK: Thanks, Larry.
KING: Thank you.
That was Matthew Geragos, he's the brother of Mark Geragos the civil co-counsel. Brian Kabateck, who is very close friend and will be the co-counsel for Michael Jackson, on this breaking story. When we come back, Ray Chandler, the uncle of the boy that accused Jackson back in 1993 and received a settlement. He's next. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS: We called this press conference today. Yesterday it came out for was publicly reported that there had been some video cameras that were installed on the jet that was chartered by my client, Michael Jackson's company, and that took us back and forth from another location to Santa Barbara. It was disclosed that those two video cameras which also apparently had audio on them where placed in there, were recording attorney-client conversations.
And then, somebody had the unmitigated gall to shop those tapes around to media outlets in order to sell them to the highest bidder. In response to that, this morning, Mr. Kabateck and Matthew, went into a Los Angeles courtroom downtown, Judge David Yappi's (ph) courtroom, and obtained a temporary restraining order against that company, XtraJet. That temporary restraining order prohibits them from doing anything with that tape, with that confidential attorney-client communication. And they cannot show it to anybody. They cannot duplicate it. They cannot sell it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now is Ray Chandler, the uncle of the boy who accused Jackson back in 1993. And even though he is no longer a minor child we're not using the name of Mr. Chandler's nephew nor of Mr. Chandler's brother, the young man's father. Ray Chandler, by the way, is not speaking on behalf of the brother or his nephew, just as himself. They have a confidentiality agreement concerning the settlement of the case. It does not affect Ray Chandler, but he is not speaking on behalf of any of the parties. And I understand you're not in contact with your brother or nephew at all.
RAY CHANDLER, NEPHEW 1ST TO ACCUSE JACKSON OF MOLESTATION: No. I haven't spoken to them for quite a while. I haven't talked since long before these allegations came out. They don't know I'm here.
CHANDLER: It's sort of personal, but basically, it's not that we don't care for each other or love each other, but they've sort of kept to themselves. And every time since the Bashir interview, in February, you know...
KING: The interview with Jackson?
CHANDLER: Yes. Every time Jackson is in the media, it affects them quite severely.
KING: So you stay way.
CHANDLER: I say away.
KING: Then how much do you know about the events of 10 years ago?
CHANDLER: I was -- I know a lot about the events of 10 years ago. When it first became public, it was August 17th, 1993. About three or four days later, I got a call from my brother he was crying. I'd never heard my brother cry. He is very strong man. He had just been beat up walking into his -- in the lobby of his office building he's a dentist. And he was crying, he was sobbing. I packed up -- I live in Santa Barbara, he was in L.A. I packed up some close real quick, went down there. I was there for almost six months just before the settlement was signed in January of 1994.
KING: Do you think he was beat up in connection with hit?
CHANDLER: I don't think -- we don't know -- I wasn't there. He -- we believe it was actually tabloid media who did it. He got smacked in the back of the head. The guy in front of him had a camera. He thinks they were trying to slow him down, but he was really bruised.
KING: To your knowledge -- by the way, when you heard about the recent development, what were your first thoughts?
CHANDLER: Wasn't surprise. And Michael Jackson is -- you know this whole affair, what this is really about and which has not been talked about and the media doesn't cover it, this is about child abuse. Not only Michael's victims but Michael himself. Michael is a victim of child abuse, severe child abuse.
KING: When he was a kid?
CHANDLER: When he was a kid. And this is the ramifications.
KING: Product of it.
CHANDLER: Product of it. Society pays a huge price in the hundreds of thousands of abused children every year.
KING: Do you know how your nephew is doing?
How old is he, 23 now?
CHANDLER: He'd be about 23 now.
KING: You don't know how he's doing?
CHANDLER: Well, I don't want to speak about his current life now other than to say...
KING: Well, we just want to know the affect.
CHANDLER: Right. Other than when these things surface, and the Jackson affair becomes, you know, public again, I think everything's pretty OK for him.
KING: Give me as best as you can remember the circumstances under which Michael befriended your nephew?
CHANDLER: Well, it was a simple twist of fate, really. Michael was driving down (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Boulevard incognito and -- as he would often do to go out without getting mobbed, his car stalled. He was having car trouble. An office worker on the side saw a man in trouble, asked if she could help. He said, yes. Going up to the floor in an elevator. She realized who it was and he said, yes, I'm Michael Jackson. She said, you know, my husband works for a car rental company, this was Rent-a-Wreck in Santa Monica. I'm sure they'd be glad to help you. Well, she called and her husband's boss was my nephew's step brother. My brother and mother were separated, had different (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And he said, yes, I'll send a limo for him, I'll send a tow truck and then called his wife and said you'll never guess who's coming down here. Bring the kids down.
KING: That's how they met?
CHANDLER: That's how they met. Michael took the boy's phone number.
KING: Took it right there?
The mother no complaint about or stepfather had no complaint of the taking of the number by Jackson? There was no reason to think of anything.
CHANDLER: No, at that point it was very innocent. Or seemed innocent.
KING: We'll take break and be right back. As we go to break, here's Michael Jackson responding to those allegations over 10 years ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON, ENTERTAINER: I am hoping for a speedy end to this horrifying, horrifying experience to which I have been subjected. I shall not in this statement respond to all of the false allegation being made against me since my lawyers have advised me this is not the proper forum in which to do that. I'll say that I'm particularly upset by the handling of this mass matter by the incredible, terrible mass media.
At every opportunity, the media has dissected and manipulated these allegations to reach their own conclusions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Ray Chandler.
CHANDLER: And one other place, which I think, you know, is very important to understand that it also occurred in the boy's home, where he was living with his then family. Michael slept in the boy's bedroom behind closed doors for 30 nights in a row. Thirty nights in a row.
KING: With the mother and the stepfather home?
CHANDLER: The stepfather, I don't believe, was home. There was some estrangement going on...
KING: Didn't the mother think something was wrong with this?
CHANDLER: You'd have to ask the mother that question.
KING: She is your sister-in-law?
CHANDLER: She was. Well, I mean, I believe her -- her belief at the time was that she didn't see anything happening.
KING: So it was innocent to her. She believed Michael Jackson was just an innocent friend of a 13-year-old?
CHANDLER: I guess you could say that that's what she believed.
KING: Why did they settle?
CHANDLER: Why did they settle?
KING: Why did they settle?
CHANDLER: Oh. Well, you know, the allegations became public in August of '93. The district attorney never filed a charge or never intended to file a charge. The family was not asked to testify all through the year of '93. A lawsuit was filed -- they got civil lawyers. The civil lawyers said you cannot wait. We don't know if the DA is going to file, if the DA isn't going to file.
KING: Why didn't the DA file, in your opinion?
CHANDLER: OK. I think there's a number of reasons. But the main reason was in 1993, in Los Angeles, the district attorney was Gill Garceti (ph). Now, you know, I don't want to fault Mr. Garcetti (ph) at all, someone quoted me as saying I did -- I never did fault Mr. Garcetti (ph). But the reality of the situation was, he had lost several high profile trials -- Rodney King, the first Menendez brothers trial. He had a situation where he had -- within the first week they searched Michael's ranch back then. They found, according to Morty North (ph) in the "Vanity Fair" article, hard-core commercially produced child pornography. They also had the statement of my nephew...
KING: So you think he didn't bring the charges because?
CHANDLER: No, I think he didn't bring the charges because he did not feel that he could get a conviction against a man of that stature on the same evidence he could get against me or any normal person.
KING: You also had serious concerns about Anthony Pellicano, who is now in jail, the private detective for Michael Jackson? What did he do that concerned you? CHANDLER: You know, this is amazing, comes full circle. I was sitting here listening to your previous segment with Michael's lawyers and how outraged they were at this taping in the airplane. And they're right. They should be outraged. It's a travesty.
Anthony Pellicano was hired on one day. That very evening after he was hired, a third party who had met with Anthony Pellicano that day made a tape recording of my brother. Brought it back to Anthony Pellicano the next day, and then Anthony Pellicano was on the air, saying this is extortion, this is extortion.
Now, he never went to the police and filed a charge. He never went to the police and gave them the tape.
KING: So he surreptitiously taped your brother?
CHANDLER: He had someone else do it, yes. And the police got the tape. This was the big extortion defense, it's extortion. The police looked at the tape and said there's no evidence of extortion or any crime being committed on this tape.
KING: How angry was your brother?
CHANDLER: Well, the whole thing -- he was angry. I mean, how could you not be angry? You know, you're the most vilified person in the world. He was a -- the basic feeling going on at the time was a combination of anger and fear, tremendous fear.
KING: There were death threats to the family?
CHANDLER: There were lots of death threats.
KING: By fans, I assume.
CHANDLER: Yeah. By fans. It's funny. You know, again, not funny but you know, here we are now with terrorism, something that Americans know about. Michael Jackson has a corps of fans. And those that want to march and support of him in Europe, fine, that's their right. There's a hard core group, there was and probably still is, of fanatical fans who see him as a deity, and they will -- some of them will go to any lengths that, you know, there's some who will just go as far as threatening, there's some who will go -- who will be violent, and you know, you never know how far it is going to go.
KING: What do you think, Ray? You're an attorney. What do you think is going to happen here?
CHANDLER: You know, I'm an attorney, but I'm not a soothsayer. There's going to be a trial, and what happens in the trial, you know, I don't want to speculate. I don't know the facts of this case. I mean, seems so far to be a lot that's similar to the last case. Tremendously similar.
CHANDLER: To what I saw, yeah. But I don't know what's going to happen.
KING: So you think Michael Jackson has a major problem?
CHANDLER: Oh, absolutely.
KING: Emotional problem as well as a criminal problem and a civil problem?
CHANDLER: Yeah, he's got a criminal problem, obviously, yes. And yes, I think he has severe emotional problems.
KING: Thank you, Ray. Thanks for coming on.
KING: When we come back -- sit right there, Ray, until we break, because it looks weird to walk off like that.
We'll be back with Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Jane Velez-Mitchell and Johnnie Cochran. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: Had no right to refuse examination or photographs. And if I failed to cooperate with them, they would introduce that refusal at any trial as an indication of my guilt. It was the most humiliating ordeal of my life, one that no person should ever have to suffer.
And even after experiencing the indignity of this search, the parties involved were still not satisfied and wanted to take even more pictures. It was a nightmare. A horrifying nightmare. But if this is what I have to endure to prove my innocence, my complete innocence, so be it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. It gets curiouser and curiouser.
Nancy Grace joins us in New York. The Court TV anchor and former prosecutor.
In Atlanta, Chris Pixley, defense attorney.
Here in Los Angeles Jane Velez-Mitchell, correspondent with "Celebrity Justice."
And also in L.A. Johnnie Cochran, the former attorney general for Michael Jackson, by the way, that represented him in connection with the settlement of the is 1993 child molestation lawsuit. Before we get to all of that, the prosecution has announced they're not going to bring the charges -- I'll get to the jet story and the taping in a minute. They'll not bring the charges, Nancy, until mid December, why? NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I found that peculiar when I first heard it, but after we learned that the sheriff had issued a public statement asking any potential victims to come forward, it's my understanding there are reports they have received many, many dozens of phone calls. Are they legitimate, don't know. But I think the district attorney and the sheriff have to filter through them and determine if there are any other charges that should be coupled with this young boy.
KING: Got you.
Chris, if there are no charges, what did he surrender to?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there was arrest warrant issued for Michael Jackson's arrest.
KING: Saying what?
PIXLEY: Saying he violated, again, the section of the penal code, saying that he had, in fact, committed lewd and lascivious acts. So, he has been arrested, but the charging decision hasn't been made yet. Those are two distinct events, typically they occur much closer in time than they occurring here. And you know, Nancy has her inside about it. I think the delay suggests if nothing else that they don't have a smoking gun right now. They have taken truckloads of evidence out of Michael Jackson's home, but if they had a smoking gun or something more than the child's statement, we probably would be getting a decision earlier. I think Nancy may be absolutely correct, though, it has to do with the fact they have reached out the community say we want more.
KING: Jane, what do you think?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": Well, I think the boy provided a road map to investigators. They followed that map to the Neverland and two other location they raided and they seize add lot of evidence. And they are going to have to pour over it all. And they are going to have to try to match the evidence they found with the boy's story. An that's a lot more complicated than appears on it's face.
KING: Did Geragos have to surrender him then?
Couldn't he waited and said file your charges and then I'll surrender?
(UNINTELLIGIBLE) they would have arrested them?
JOHNNIE COCHRAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, they would have arrested him. So I think he had to surrender. Plus, from a standpoint of the defense, it looks better, obviously you have got to cooperate and say I'm not running. I want to get these charges out of the way. I think everybody's correct on this, Larry. I think the district attorney, however, wants to make -- wants an ironclad case. He doesn't want to lose the case. And they're dotting every I and crossing every T. I guess that's what they are trying to do. And they would like to have as many charges as they can get during this time frame. That's what I think they are doing at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That's what concerned me about what Mark Geragos said today. Yes, he was outraged about the whole thing with the jet. He also said he was going to come down like a hammer on anybody who (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Michael Jackson's reputation. And my concern, is he trying to scare people calling -- calling the sheriff's department and saying, hey, I have information, and they might be afraid now saying oh, I might get sued.
KING: Nancy, do you fear that?
GRACE: I personally don't fear it, but I can understand exactly where the threat is coming from. But I also think Geragos is speaking out because he learned of an outrage today. You know, if the prosecution's going to win this case, it's got to be fair and square. Without the help, the illegal help, of Extra Jet. So Geragos was responding to that. But frankly, I think that upon hearing the appeal from the sheriff's office, I think people are coming forward. Whether their allegations are legitimate, don't know. But I don't find this to be unusual they are looking for more victims.
KING: Chris, what do you make of the Extra Jet story?
PIXLEY: Well, I don't think that Mark Geragos could have responded too forcefully to that and I think the statement that he made today was appropriate. I agree fully with Nancy that it is really an outrage and it's a violation of federal and state law. It's a violation of civil and criminal laws that exist for the protection of attorneys and their clients in their communications. This violates federal wiretap laws and federal electronic surveillance laws. It is a civil violation of Michael Jackson's privacy rights and potentially a false light invasion of privacy. And we heard all of that earlier. So to have done this, I mean, somebody was really, really went out on a limb and just made a major mistake. But at this point now, Mark has to send a clear message to the media and anybody to get a copy of this and publish it, that that can't happen.
KING: We learned tonight from the civil lawyers that the FBI is impounded. What does that tell you? They impounded the tape.
COCHRAN: It tells me there's a criminal investigation. It should be. This is, as been stated, one of the most outrageous acts I have ever seen. I practiced law for more than 40 years, I've never seen anything quite like this. It violates the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege. And you know, if -- and I trust the prosecution didn't do this, but this is an outrage. And for them not accept any responsibility -- this plane company, by saying things like, "It turned up" or "We found a lottery ticket." What does that mean?
GRACE: Yes. Hey, Larry.
KING: Are the civil attorneys correct -- hang on a second, Nancy. Are the civil attorneys correct, that the prosecution can't use the tapes even if they got it.
COCHRAN: No. No, I don't think they can really use it at this point. You know, clearly they would never say these guys are their agents. This is the illegal taping. I think the federal government hopefully will move vigorously in this regard and put these people where they belong.
GRACE: I'll give you an example. I once have a doorman of a luxury apartment complex call the police and hand over a Fedex of cocaine. At traffic amount of cocaine was falling out of a private citizen obtained contraband. That was prosecuted. There's nothing wrong with that. But in this case, this is attorney-client privilege and no matter how it's obtained, it will never come in at trial.
KING: Have you ever, Jane, seen where they would put microphones on a plane?
Who would do this?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It's absolutely wild. And I think the interesting thing -- there's a couple of things. One, nothing extraordinary was really seen on the video at the end of the day. I mean, been reports that Michael Jackson broken down and sobbing and apparently none of that really happened.
KING: All those British tabloids were wrong?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It was rather uneventful at the end of the day.
KING: OK. By the way, before we go to break, Nancy Grace made a statement on this program during last night discussion of the Michael Jackson case suggesting that private investigators Bradley Miller fabricated evidence. This statement was without factually basis and we did not mean to imply he has engaged or will engage in any wrong doing and we apologize and we'll have Nancy comment -- Nancy.
GRACE: That's right, Larry. I'm anticipated a credibility attack on this alleged victim, the boy, and his mother. But as far as the P.I. making up something at this juncture, I don't think there's a reason to believe that, not right now.
KING: OK, take a break and come back and we'll include your phone calls for Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and Johnnie Cochran. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS: They have been restrained from doing anything with that airplane at this point, until we have a chance to inspect it and get to the bottom of exactly who did what we believe is not only a violation of federal criminal law, state -- the state penal code, and an assortment of California causes of action. We've also filed suit this morning against the airline company and we reserve the right to file suit against anyone and everyone who's remotely connected with this. What I think is one of the most outrageous acts I have seen in my 20 years of practicing criminal law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM SNEDDON, SANTA BARBARA DA: The idea that I would subject myself to what I knew was coming or the sheriff would subject himself, or that anybody in my office to this avalanche of scrutiny that we all knew was coming because we saw it in '93 and '94, should tell people something about, you know, why we were willing to go forward. It's our job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's a clip from an exclusive interview that Art Harris, one of the best journalists there is, of CNN, obtained tonight with Tom Sneddon, the prosecutor in the Jackson matter.
Before we go to calls, I want your thoughts. We'll start with you, Jane, on what Ray Chandler had to say. By the way, did he -- should the hammer come down on him?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that's precisely the point. You can't really stop people from speaking out, and they're going to continue to do so, because this is a legitimate case. This is not a rumor. This is an official case. Michael Jackson was booked, fingerprinted, arrested, released on bail, and this is a very important issue. It's the issue of alleged child molestation. And children cannot ask the tough questions. We have to ask for them.
KING: You settled that case. Were you surprised at what Mr. Chandler had to say?
COCHRAN: Yes, somewhat, because we were all limited -- anybody who's involved in the case, from talking about it.
COCHRAN: He's not, so he can make those statements. So I'm somewhat surprised.
I want to say one other thing, Larry, though, that Sneddon, giving this interview to Art Harris, who is a great journalist, didn't Sneddon say he wouldn't have anything else to say about this case?
KING: Yeah, I know.
COCHRAN: Which is very interesting. He keeps talking. He talked to Diane Dimond. And you're going to see that throughout, that he is going to keep talking, I think.
KING: Nancy, should he be talking?
GRACE: Well, we certainly saw Mark Geragos speak today. Personally, if I were handling the case as the prosecutor, I don't agree and have never condoned press conferences before your case. Reason? It's simple trial strategy. You may believe firmly in your case, but you don't want to risk a change of venue or any type of reprimand because you comment on the evidence.
But something he said really struck me, this Tom Sneddon. He's already under attack and he hasn't even filed formal charges. I think it's kind of a game of hide the ball in the emperor's clothes. Nobody wants to say, you know what? Michael Jackson is having sleepovers with 9-year-old boys, and finally the DA has acted. And he will face an onslaught. He will face a machine that will attack him.
KING: Chris Pixley, Ray Chandler, if you were a perspective juror, watching Ray Chandler, you probably would have a tough time serving on the jury, wouldn't you?
PIXLEY: I think people are going to have a tough time serving on this jury based on everything that's going to be published between now and the time of the trial. Ray tells us more than what we have heard, I think,. through the various tabloids in the media. I think it's a very interesting interview.
The one thing I think that would need to be said in all fairness, though, at the end of Ray's statement is that Michael Jackson was never charged with anything in association with those 1993 allegations. It doesn't mean that Ray's nephew's story isn't true, but what it does mean is that the DA couldn't put together a case.
PIXLEY: So probably the best that can be said is that everybody went through a traumatic event here. Johnnie had to settle this case. Michael went through it. Michael's career has never been the same. And as Ray has pointed out, the family of his nephew's life has never been the same.
KING: Pottsfield (ph), Pennsylvania, as we start to include your phone calls. Hello?
CALLER: Oh, hello. Thanks for taking my call, Larry.
CALLER: I want to ask Nancy Grace why Michael and his siblings call their father "Joseph" and, also, Michael and I, our birthdays are August 29.
KING: That's interesting, but how would she know why they call him Joseph. Do you know, Nancy?
GRACE: I have actually seen a lot of adult children call the parent by their first name. I've never seen it in my personal life, but I have observed it a lot. I have heard psychologists discuss it, Larry, on your show.
KING: Gary Condit case.
GRACE: The Chandra Levy thing...
KING: Gary Condit's case.
GRACE: ... called him Gary. So it's seemed to be a distancing from the father. I can't understand it. But I've seen it.
KING: Ventura, California, hello.
CALLER: Hi. I have a question for Chris Pixley.
CALLER: I wondered in that someone might say anything to sit on a high profile jury, like either Michael Jackson or Scott Peterson, whether or not defense attorneys, part of the voir dire could use polygraphs, on potential jurors.
KING: They'd like to.
GRACE: How I wish.
PIXLEY: Yes, yes. No. We would like to. And I'll say this much. In a case like Michael Jackson's, if it does go to trial, you are going to have hundreds of potential jurors being examined, and the questions will be far more sifting than in a typical case that isn't receiving all of this advanced media attention.
But the caller brings up a very important point, one that we've talked about many times before. It is very, very difficult to keep someone who wants to be on a jury from -- off of it, if they don't reveal their true knowledge and their true feelings. And there is a way to answer correctly. It's like any other personality test that you take, there is a way to game the system if you want to.
KING: Standardsville, Virginia, hello.
CALLER: Yes. Hello. This is for Johnnie Cochran.
CALLER: How do you think Michael Jackson's going to get a fair trial with all the news media?
COCHRAN: It's going to be very difficult, and I think we have to every time, every opportunity, remind the American public that you are presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proven. And every time with these allegations, we have to remember that they're allegations and the only facts will come out in court. It's imperative that Americans remember that, because if a high profile person like Michael Jackson, who is charged with one of the most horrible offenses that you can be charged with, can't get a fair trial, then we're all in danger. We can't -- you know, none of us can get a fair trial. And so, the system works best when it works best on the toughest cases. And I hope that we can remember that. And I hope that the judge will take charge of voir dire and allow, you know, strong individual voir dire, and perhaps even individual voir dire. Because Chris is right. If jurors hear the right answers sometimes, they know what to say to stay on. Sometimes you have to exclude them and talk to them one at a time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it's all a matter of balance. Yes, we do not want to convict somebody. That happens in a court of law, guilty or innocent. But we have to ask the tough questions.
I mean, we talk about besmirching Michael Jackson. Nobody has done that more than Michael Jackson himself. He's the one who dangled the baby, he's the one who went like this in a Santa Maria courtroom in front of the jury. He's the one who talked about sleepovers with young boys. Nobody forced him to do that. People are allowed to come to their own conclusions in America. And we are really -- we don't only have the right, we have the obligation as journalists to ask those questions.
COCHRAN: I think she's right about the fact that you can report, but look at this story about these love letters, supposedly. Now somebody comes out and says, well, we didn't find any love letters. There's no love letters. And so it's the interpretation we put on things.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, luckily, we didn't report those love letters.
COCHRAN: Well, you didn't report them, that's good.
GRACE: You know what's disturbing, Larry, is that we keep talking about who's going to besmirch Michael Jackson, but the mother of this boy and the boy himself, this little boy, this cancer victim, has already been besmirched and their motives questioned. I find that highly disturbing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I have to tell you, I talked to the attorney who represented the mother in the divorce today, and he has spent a lot of time with this woman, and he has heard all the disparaging things that people have said about her and he says it's just not true, that she's a very good mother, and that she really will fight fiercely for her children.
KING: We'll be back with some more moments and more phone calls for the panel. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS: Michael Jackson is no longer going to be somebody who's on the receiving end of every scurrilous accusation known to man. There are people out there speaking who claim to know Michael Jackson, who claim to have worked for Michael Jackson who have never laid eyes on him. The press puts them on, without -- unblinkingly. That is not going to go on anymore. We will demand that any outlet, that any person who comes out shows their bona fides before they're allowed to just repeat these scurrilous actions, and we will meet any accusation that's made with every legal avenue, and we will not sit back and allow him to be abused, and that's what's actually going on here. If anybody doesn't think based upon what's happened so far that the true motivation of these charges and these allegations is anything but money, and the seeking of money, then they're living in their own Neverland. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Costa Mesa, California, hello.
CALLER: Yes. I'd like to find out -- this is for Jane. In cases like this when charges are filed, the children are taken from the home. Why haven't Michael's children been taken from the home and when will they be?
KING: Nancy, charges haven't been filed yet, ma'am. Will children be taken when charges are filed like this?
GRACE: You're right. Formal charges are not charged. And what the DEFCS as we call it, Department of Family Children Services has to ascertain is are his children at risk. is there a suggestion they've been neglected or abused. I don't think we'll see that action. I think, it will be a lot more credible if someone with standing who is involved in case made the complaint. That has not happened yet.
KING: Bellwood, Illinois, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Hello, Larry.
CALLER: This is for Chris or Johnnie.
CALLER: OK, I'm a Michael Jackson fan, and what I'm trying to find out right now is, how's the accuser's health right now?
And the matter that this child was near death when Michael met him and then he all of a sudden became miraculously, fantastically well, could his mother later on say that because of all of this that you have put my child through, I deserve some type of money because my child is now ill again?
KING: Chris, the lady implying maybe he wasn't as ill as they said.
What do you make of that? PIXLEY: Well, you know, it's interesting it's been reported and we can only go on what we hear preliminarily that this child was on death's door initially, that he's now healthy again. I think it would take a number of changes that we haven't yet heard about for that hypothetical to play out. He would have to become sick again.
KING: Could be in remission?
PIXLEY: Exactly. And it could happen. And the mother could make that kind of claim. If any civil claim arises out of this in the short term, Larry, I think that it's very bad news for the D.A. The D.A. said they've got a cooperative witness here -- a cooperative accuser and they've got a rock solid case without this accuser. Remember this D.A. office has been investigating Michael Jackson for 10 years now and there's only been one allegation that's come up in that period of time. Without the accuser they are not going anywhere with this case.
KING: If you were his criminal lawyer now, would you fear they have a lot more than they're saying?
COCHRAN: I'm always concerned, but I would be surprised if they do. I'd really be surprised for a lot of reasons. As Chris just said, Sneddon never really closed the file, so he's been investigating this since 1993. And they have one child at this point that's come forward.
GRACE: Well, wait a minute, Johnnie.
COCHRAN: What else can you expect? What else can we expect out of it all?
COCHRAN: Yes. Yes, Nancy.
GRACE: Hello, Mr. Cochran.
COCHRAN: How are you, Ms. Grace?
GRACE: Johnnie, you know, you had a lot of criminal cases. Of course, we're on two sides of the fence. But in my reality if the original charges, the original allegation in 1993 was true, that would make Jackson a pedophile. And it's my belief that pedophiles can't...
COCHRAN: But there were never and criminal charges filed.
GRACE: If the allegations in the civil suit are true, if they are true, I find it very difficult to believe if you are a pedophile that you can stop those urges. So if those original allegations are true, I would not be surprised if there are other victims.
KING: Johnnie, has the circus just begun?
COCHRAN: I think so. I think what we saw today, this whole thing of the jets
COCHRAN: Because you know, many people are very inventive in this country. And you know, we're going to see a lot of inventiveness. But you remember all the kids that have been to Neverland, we got maybe one or two people who have come forward at this point. Think about the kids through there.
KING: See you all tomorrow night and plus a surprise guest, as well. I'll tell you about that right after this.
KING: Tomorrow night, the panel will return. We'll also have a visit with the divine miss "M," yes, Bette Midler live right here with your phone calls. All tomorrow night on "LARRY KING LIVE."
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EDITORS NOTE: PORTIONS OF THIS INTERVIEW HAVE BEEN EDITED.